It is By Faith – Peace and Grace

Greetings;

I have just finished another great weekend with my church family in Deming, New Mexico. We had a great time and God challenged us to become the light of life in the community. We are New Covenant people of life and our culture is one of mercy and grace. Mercy ends our past and grace empowers our future in all things. God’s grace empowers us and helps us in all our needs.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

What is our need? We probably give at least 90% of our focus to things when it comes to needs. We do need things. We have bills and other expenses that require God’s help. We need healings. We need direction. These things are good, but I believe that the greatest power of overcoming is not what we get from God, but what become because of Him. Our greatest need is to become fathers and mothers who live to give life to others. God’s grace empowers each of us to become someone who is life to others. To become like God in our character. To become like our family should be in character and way. To be love.

Love is giving your life to give life to another. That is different than just giving your life for another. Without God, I cannot give my life to give life to another in the way it should be. I can give my life, but not in a way that gives life. Jesus died on the cross and it was His judgment of mercy that forgave us of our sins, but that is not the ultimate reason that He died. He died so He could live. Through His death we have mercy, but only through His eternal life can we find grace. The power to become like Him is the power to overcome and it can only be found through a living encounter with Him who is alive. The issue is not where are we going to go when we die. Mercy is enough to determine where we go when we die. The issue is where are we living now. Eternal life is to know God the Father and Jesus the Son.

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The real issues is His kingdom come and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. How do we become increasingly transformed to become a testimony of sons and daughters of God? How do we become the real thing? God’s grace empowers us to become who we were meant to be. How we were naturally born is not how we were meant to be. God’s grace grants us the power to overcome every challenge to our true identity in Christ and it is the power of God’s presence that restores everything that has been lost in our family destiny. We were born again to accept a headship in our families that causes even generational things to be transformed in our family households. What was lost before our time can be redeemed in the family. What was bound in the future can be unbound and things never seen or heard before can come. It is in His presence that we find grace.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith justifies us to have peace with God. This is a testimony of mercy. There is no gap between God and us. That is peace. It is not because of anything we did, but everything He did. He made it so our sins are forgiven. He reconciled us. He reconnected us to our Father. This is another way of saying our sins are forgiven and we have a Father who loves us. We have peace with God. There is no gap between us and Him. We have access to His house. This even describes our destiny when we die. This verse guarantees us heaven when we die. When we know Him, we can know this. It comes by faith. When we hear Him in our hearts it is made real in our lives. It becomes real in our lives when we boldly come to His throne and receive our gift. It is true for all human beings, but each of us must come to Him to receive our gift. When we boldly come, and receive His mercy we know His peace. There is no more shame or condemnation. It doesn’t matter what we have done or who we are.

Romans 5:2 …through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Standing implies overcoming. Standing is a prophetic term for possessing the land and receiving the inheritance given to us by God. The Bible teaches that the enemy is under the soles of our feet. Jesus is held up in the heavens until all His enemies are placed under the soles of His feet. The feet of Jesus are the feet of the body of Christ. The enemies of God and the life of God are to be under the feet of people like us. Wickedness is overcome and we stand upon our possession. We stand upon our inheritance. God doesn’t just want us to go to heaven when we die. He wants us to invade the earth with heaven’s goodness. He doesn’t just want us to have laws that deal with injustice issues. He wants to transform human character so people no longer act unjust. He wants to change the hearts and minds of humanity so they are not under a law, but they are empowered by grace and their lives cast a shadow that looks like law. A law looks like thou shall not commit adultery, but grace says, Honey I Iove you. You are a one and only! You are the one and only in my life! I could never want to consider thinking of another because my heart is constantly empowered and transformed to love you more. To those who don’t understand this grace, they can look at my life and think I live by a law that says you shall not commit adultery, but it is really the power of grace that empowers me in my heart and mind to love my wife as I should.

It is great to be the place where God lives. Not just a place where God visits, but a place where God lives. God has always wanted a place of dwelling in the earth. That is His family. The family of God lives with a culture of grace.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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The Place of Finding Grace

Greetings;

Today I am writing from Castlegar, BC, Canada. I just finished a great weekend with my friend Henry Schmidt and some hungry children of God in the Kootenays. God is transforming us to become people of love, because God is the power of love in our lives.

God doesn’t need anything from anyone. He is not like the gods of the world that must take something from humanity in order to be something to humanity. God doesn’t take anything from us to be who He is. He gives to us life, breath, and all things because of who He is. He is the author, the giver, and the sustainer of life.

If we are children of God we want to grow up become like Him in our character, nature, way, power, and authority. Fathers and mothers in the family of God live to give life, breath, and all things to others. We don’t seek to be equal with God, we simply want to act like Him. We want to take on His characteristics. We don’t seek to be competitive with Him or to be God. We live to be something of His likeness and image. We seek the upward call to have His character, His nature and way, and to walk in His life-giving power and authority. That is a father. John says that fathers have known Him who is from the beginning. What causes us to become fathers? It is a revelation of who God is. It is a revelation of how faithful He is, how life-giving He is, how able He is to give us the expressions of our way. Fathers have a revelation of how able God is to give us all things. We should look to see who are those among us who are fathers who give us that example and then we should aspire to become fathers too. We should seek to become someone that others can look at and know that we have known Him who is from the beginning.

A father is also someone who maintains the expectant attitude of a little child. He knows his sins are forgiven and he has a Father who loves him. In between is the testimony where grace works. To be a little child we need mercy. That gets us out of the old kingdom. Mercy! Our sins are forgiven! Mercy! Wow, God loves me! That is the entrance to grace. A father knows God’s mercy, but they have also discovered God’s grace. A father can be merciful and gracious because a father has known God’s mercy and discovered His grace.

The place of finding grace is in the journey in between being children and fathers. It is the place of overcoming. This is the testimony of young men and young women. Young men have overcome the wicked one. They are strong in God and strong in His word to overcome the wicked one. The idea is to overcome the wicked one. The process is one of becoming strong in God’s word and strong in Him. God’s grace makes us strong in God and strong in His Word. It is something that God does in us because of what He did for us. Mercy is the result of something God did for us, but grace is the testimony of what God can do in us. God’s mercy gives us the right to overcome the wicked one, but God’s grace gives us the power to overcome the wicked one. The wicked one is not trying to destroy us. It looks like that and it feels like that at times. It even has that experience when we don’t understand what is really going on. The truth is that God sees us as the antidote to every wicked one. We are the light of the world. The wicked one would be darkness, but God declares we are light. He declares we are the salt of the world. Salt is covenant life. Salt preserves. It draws the flavor out of food. In the world, there is decay and death, but we are the salt that preserves. We are the life force sent to death. We are the healing balm sent to the disease. The wicked one is the disease, but we are the healing grace. Disease is not trying to destroy us, we have been mandated to destroy the disease. We are like trees whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. We are like trees with fruit that feeds the hungry. It is not a war between the enemy trying to destroy us and us trying to protect ourselves. The real issue is; do we know who we are and are we seeking to live as who we are? Mercy allows us to hear, we have a Father and our sins are forgiven. Grace empowers us to know we are sons of God and greater is He who is in us that He who is in the world. We are sons of God and we can overcome all wickedness because the overcoming One is in us. Grace empowers us to know Christ in us is the hope of glory. Christ in each of us is the hope of the full story. Grace empowers us to discover that we have a treasure inside of this earthen vessel and the excellence of the power is not of ourselves, but it is of Christ. Light is shining out of darkness!

We have this treasure inside of us and at the moment of our brokenness the light of glory shines through. It is not about us and the devil. It is about each one of us and our Father. It is about us and our brothers and our sisters. It is about us bringing life to this world. If the enemy wants to try to get in our way, we are light to darkness. We are life to death, because the One who is Light and Life is in us. We must grow up in Christ. We must discover who we are. Grace is the power of God in us.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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A Higher Standard

Greetings,

Happy New Year! We have transitioned from 2016 to 2017! I am excited to be in the new year and a new season to see all that God is going to do. I am always excited to see a season with unseen things. God does great work in unseen situations! I will look to the kingdom of God and the tree of life in this season and not the kingdoms of the world!

When we were in the world, we lived with the justice systems of right and wrong. Although certain things are right and certain things are wrong, our standard of living is not meant to be ruled by the control of right or wrong. The rule of life in the kingdom of God is an empowerment and a motivation of life and love. This is more powerful than living by law or even mere conscience. The kingdoms of the world use those measurements as standards to live by. When we live by the standards of the kingdoms of the world this is the rule of life. Without realizing it, we decide what is right and what is wrong and we are always the ones who are right and everyone else is wrong.

In America, we just had a very controversial election. I have many Christian friends that were involved in the election and even among God’s people everyone has a measurement of what is right and what is wrong. Of course, everyone is right and everyone who is right knows that everyone else is wrong. Those who voted right are appalled at those who voted wrong, even to the point that they are ready to unfriend one another in the social media networks because there so called friends were wrong. This is not just the world, but even those who say they are the church. These are Spirit filled, tongue talking Christians. I conclude this, that sometimes as Christians we forget who we are and what it is that makes us who we are. Although who we are affects the kingdoms of the world we are not part of the kingdoms of the world. We are salt and light in the kingdoms of the world. We are part of the kingdoms of the world in the sense that we will bring light amid the chaos, but we must always return to the place where miracles can happen. It is the simple place with a foundation of knowing we have a Father who loves us and our sins are forgiven. I want to go to every believer and say look at your brother and sister now and see them how their Father sees them. They have a Father and He loves them so you can look at how they voted and forgive them.

In everyday life, we are facing the days, weeks, months, and years ahead of us. We are facing a lifetime! What are we going to be in this world? Are we going to be a human being that lives with a testimony of a culture of God’s grace? It begins with being a child of God. We have a Father and our sins are forgiven. The apostle John also addressed the goal when he wrote to fathers. He said, I write you fathers because you have known Him who is from the beginning. In the culture of the kingdom we should be able to find people who are fathers, we can include mothers. These are people who are mature in their character and they live as examples of what we are to become. Everyone of us should have a goal to increasingly become fathers and mothers for the sake of others. A father is someone who lives for the sake of the family. When we take on the character of a father, we no longer live for the sake of ourselves, but we live to give life, facilitate life, and see every family member become life. When we live as fathers we live for the sake of the nations and the generations. We live for the purpose of God’s kingdom in this world and to eternity. We are disciplers of people. Fathers live for those who are beyond their own lives. Fathers seek first the kingdom of God. They live for the produce that comes from their barns. They live for the purpose of the wine that comes from their vats. Fathers have a revelation; they weren’t born for the comfort zones of their own houses. Everything that we have been given and everything that we are is for the sake of others.

These are the attributes of fathers: I am a blessed business men for the sake of those who need employment. I am a blessed father in my home to raise my children to become who they are destined to be. I am a teacher in this school so all my students can rise to their highest call in life. I am a farmer of produce to provide the best food for those in need. It is real and practical, not just a spiritual reality in the church. Children of God want to be like God when they grow up and God is not a God who masters and lords over people. He is a Father who gives life, breath, and all things to all people. We must seek to do our part in helping others find God’s life, be expressions of God’s life, and bring God’s blessing to the spiritual and practical realities of their lives.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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It Begins By Knowing Who You Are

Greetings,

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas with family or friends. We celebrated quite merry at the Hanson house. The home was filled with the sounds of family – a heritage of little children, sons, daughters, dads and moms, and grandpas and grandmas. Life is good! Family is a wonderful blessing and gift from God.

What does it mean to be the family of God with a culture of grace? I have been addressing John’s letter to the church in regards to children, fathers, and sons in community of God. When we read the entire book of first John we will discover that the theme is the love of God and how His love is made known by our love for one another. Love is not a pretended action. It is the substance and character of our family. We love each other. What is it that makes that happen? How do we become the family of God where our character is a character of love? What does that look like in everyday life? It is not something we do in a place we call the church. It is the substance of who we are as the church. We are dads, moms, brother, sisters, businessmen, teachers, farmers, inventors, government officials, and people in an everyday world with a diversity of everyday lives. We are human beings like all other human beings, but we are taking on the character of what human beings should look like. That character is an expression of of our Father in heaven. Sometimes we think that to have the character of Christ we have to quit having aspirations for success in the world. We get this idea that Christ came into our lives so we can just have a nice time until we go to heaven. I believe that God came to redeem our purpose as human beings. He didn’t just come so we would have a relationship with Him and go to heaven when we die. The blessing of the righteous even enables an environment for increased blessings in the everyday things of life. I enjoy the fact that I drove my truck to get to where I needed to go this past week. It was faster and warmer than walking. It smelled better than a horse. I think it is an advancement of something positive in the earth. I don’t think it is an invention of the devil. I believe we can have the character of God’s family in the midst of being progressive in our abilities as humanity. Having tangible blessings and riches is not a problem as long as those things do not have us.

In first John chapter two John addressed three categories of people in the family of God. Little children, fathers, and sons. He said that little children know their sins are forgiven and little children know their father. We should always be like little children in our hearts. Not little children in the sense of never growing up, but little children in our expectancy, willingness, and our eagerness for life. We should be like little children in our innocence and our curiosity. My grandchildren always want to do what I do. They are willing. They want to know. My grandson thinks he is as old as I am. We should always have an attitude of a little child. When we wake in the morning our attitude should confess that we have a Father who loves us and our sins are forgiven. We are not trying to see how many sins we can do; we just know that when we make a mistake it doesn’t change our Father’s love for us. There is always this atmosphere. I am a child of God and I have a Father who loves me. We should always have that characteristic of being little children.

I went hunting again this year, because I like to hunt. Some of you don’t like to hunt, but I do and God likes me. He knows I like to hunt. I am like a little child in the woods when I hunt. What about you in your everyday life? Do you have the attitude of a little child? You are going to make some decisions that could be risky but you have a Father who loves you and your sins are forgiven. You are not going to try to sin today. You will make every effort in your heart to look for love in the right place to receive direction from God in your heart but you might make a mistake, you are not going to purposely try to make a mistake, but you might make one. If you do it is ok. You are a child of God and your Father loves you.  That doesn’t give you an excuse to sin, but rather inspire you to try to not do any sins at all. But you know your day begins with knowing that you have a Father who loves you.

When Jesus was about to inherit His Father’s business, He had concluded that His Father was God and not Joseph the carpenter. He was at the age of 30 where a Jewish man could go into partnership with his dad and become a living inheritor in the family business. Jesus didn’t go to Joseph to inherit the carpenter business; He went to God His Father to receive His part as a living partner in the inheritance of the nations. This was His purpose when He went to John to be baptized in the river Jordan.  He was about to face serious business, risky business, business that would ultimately cost Him His life. It was business that would require Him to walk in the power to cast out devils and heal the sick. It was a business that would require Him to do miracles. As He was baptized in the river Jordan by John He heard the voice of God. Everyone around Him heard it. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. This is my Son; I really love Him. This is my Son; I am very pleased with Him. When Jesus was about to face His journey of the Father’s inheritance, bringing life to the nations, He had to hear the sound from Heaven that confirmed He was a child of God and He had a Father who loved Him. We don’t know if He had done any miracles prior to this. The Bible doesn’t say. His mother Mary knew He could do things when they were at the wedding and the wine had run out, so perhaps He had done some things before. In any case, the foundation for Jesus being secure in His identity was not one of knowing His gifting, but of knowing who His Father was. It was knowing that He was loved.

A culture of grace begins with knowing who we are. For us to know who we are we must receive a judgment that frees us from who we used to be. We used to be people who were independent and disconnected from God, but now we know that God is our Father and we are His children for His glory in this life. Mercy has ended our old life and grace is empowering who we are in Him.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

 

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Finding Grace in the Throne Room of Grace

Greetings,

I have just finished a great time in England with Impact Community Church in the Manchester area and the folks of NEDCF in Clay Cross. The presence of God was drawn by the hunger of His family in these places. Holy Spirit is moving in the hearts of men and women with His New Covenant life and grace. Thank you to all who welcomed me and made it possible for God’s word to be spoken freely. This blog is a few hours late, but I will post it when I land in Seattle after a long day of travel. I am continuing with the subject of a culture of grace.

The kingdoms of the world find their roots in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, while the internal kingdom of heaven has its roots in the goodness of God’s tree of life. This is the family of God that is made available to the kingdoms of the world through a personal relationship with God by His Holy Spirit through the blood covenant of Jesus Christ, the begotten Son of God. The internal kingdom of heaven is a kingdom with an administration of grace while the kingdoms of the world are manifestation of an administration of law and conscience though the information of good and the information of evil. The kingdoms of the world leave men bound to a mere knowledge of good and a knowledge of evil but they leave men bound from understanding the power of God’s love and administration of grace.

The entrance to grace is through a verdict of mercy! The justice system of the knowledge of good and evil demands a verdict of right or wrong, but our ability to be just always comes up short in some way. The true issues of justice are found in the human heart and mind, thus only a transformation of the heart and mind can render true change that leads to life. This is only found in the power of God’s grace. The presence of God’s Spirit within our hearts is the only means of bringing about true change. Christ in us is the only hope of glory. To find this, we must discover God’s mercy that ends our past and God’s grace that empowers our lives to change in the character, nature, way, power, and authority of who we are. God invites us to experience mercy and to find grace. He wants us to grow up and become a testimony of those who are merciful and gracious. God’s grace helps us in our times of need.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We have many times of needs. We need a job. We need provision. We need love. All human beings have these needs. Jesus instructed us not to worry about the things that people in the world worry about. He said those are the prayers of people who don’t know God. He said that our Father in heaven knows we need the practical realities of life and the practical needs of the human soul. He knows we need them before we even ask. He said we are not to seek those things. We are to seek the kingdom of God. All those things will be added to us.

Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Since Jesus instructed us not to pray for the needs of our lives, what does it really mean for us to find grace in our time of need? I am going to propose that grace is not just so we can get our needs met, but to become the substance of the character, nature, way, power, and authority of our family. We are called to be the likeness and the image of our Father in heaven. Our Father will meet our need, but God’s grace empowers us to become His family in the midst of the families of the world.

What is my real need? My real need is to look like my heavenly Father when I grow up. My real need is that I look like a child of God. It is not to pretend, but to manifest as a legitimate child of God with the character, nature, way, power and authority of Christ. I become like Him, therefore I act like Him in all things. This is my real need. I believe that this is the real need of each and every one of us as children, sons, and fathers in the family of God.

We must become the family of God in the midst of the families of the world. The greatest need in the nations is the family of God. In America, we just had elections and half the people are happy and half the people are angry. But the greatest need in America is not a president, but the family of God. Our present circumstances are surely enough to manifest something. In the world there are justice systems of information based upon a knowledge of good and evil. In the kingdom of God the justice system is one of the Father’s love. His grace makes us strong in Him and strong in His word, so no wicked thing can overcome us. Maturing sons and daughters of God can actually overcome every wicked thing. Our enemy is every wicked thing, but every wicked thing is not waring against us. We have been called to overcome every wicked thing! We have been called to war against every wicked thing! Every wicked attitude, every wicked action, and every death consuming, death attacking thing is to be beneath our feet as sons and daughters of God! This includes every dysfunction of life and every dysfunction of relationship.

Dysfunction of relationship is not waring against us. We are to overcome dysfunction in relationships. Hate is not waring against us. We are to overcome hate. Poverty is not waring against us. We are to overcome poverty. This is not just the lack of substance, but a poverty mentality that binds our hearts and minds from the prosperity of life found in Christ. We are children of God! It begins with knowing your sins are forgiven. Each of us has a Father and He loves us.

I am going to be like Him when I grow up. Ge ready world here I come! I am ready to overcome all wickedness. Grace empowers me to overcome all wickedness. I don’t need law to tell me how to act and what to do. Something inside me knows who I am, but I have to come boldly every day to the throne of grace where I can receive mercy and find grace to be who I am.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

I am approaching 44 years old in Christ and I have to come boldly to the throne of grace each and every day. I must continue to hear what I have been hearing for these many years. My sins are forgiven. I have a Father who loves me. Every day I must look around in the throne room and to find God’s grace. Grace makes me strong in Him. Grace makes me strong as an expression of His word. I have been a young man who has had to mature to become a father, but as a father I am also still a young man in my heart and mind for the sake of overcoming every wicked one. I boldly come to the throne of grace so I can receive mercy. I am a child of God My sins are forgiven. I have a Father who loves me. If I don’t know that, I won’t look at people in the world with correct vision. He shed His blood and paid the price for me before I boldly came into the throne room. What I found was what He has already done for me. He has already done it for every human being on planet earth. Someone needs to show those still bound to the kingdoms of the world the way to the throne room of grace. This is not some law of justice, but an invitation to come and receive mercy. It is an invitation to hear it in their hearts and to hear it in their minds – My sins are forgiven. I have a Father who loves me. Those bound to the administration of law and conscience need to see an example of what it looks like when human beings find grace. Someone who has found grace can now show mercy to those who are still bound to conscience and law. Someone who only knows conscience and law, when they are faced with an issue of injustice, will always demand a justice based upon the knowledge of good and evil.

When this is the case, you know they haven’t tasted grace. Why do I want to be a person of grace? Is being a person of grace the means to having help when the rent is due? Is it so I have help getting a job when I need a job? Is it so I will have help getting a new car when my car breaks. No, I need His grace so that while I am in this world I look like Him and I grow up and become a father who lives for the sake of others.

We must grow up. We must overcome every wicked thing. Not because the wicked one is attacking the church, but because the church has been anointed to destroy what is wicked. We have been called and commissioned in Christ to overcome every wicked thing.

Holy Spirit would you visit us with your presence and show us our Father’s love? Holy Spirit empower us to be children of God who grow to be strong in Your presence and strong in being the substance of God’s word. Empower us to be people who live for the sake of others in this world. Write upon our hearts and minds Your testimony of love so we will be quick to show mercy to those who do not understand. We want to shine in the darkness so that those in darkness can be drawn to the light of Christ in our hearts.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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Understanding Mercy to Find Grace

Greetings,

Yesterday was a great day at Everyone’s Church in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Thank you to all of you there for your love for God and your commitment to His will. It was good to worship Him with you and to sense His presence among you. Surely the kingdom of God is within you. This is the life of children of God!

Jesus came into my life so I would know who I am. Christ in me is the power to know who Jesus is and who God my Father is. In knowing God, I am empowered and inspired to live for the sake of the world. Christ in me empowers me to live to help others become who they are. The testimony of Christ in me empowers me to live to see my children and my children’s children become who they are and fulfill the greatness of their destiny in this earth. This is true for my natural children and for all who are shaped by me in this life as spiritual offspring of God. God’s children are stronger than every enemy! As God’s children, we live to see the world blessed. Becoming fathers and mothers in the faith is the goal of our life in Christ, but in the process of becoming is the testimony of overcoming every wicked one. This is the testimony of young men and young women. Part of me in 44 years in Christ is a little child, part of me has become a father, but part of me is still overcoming as a young man. These are not merely natural aspects of my life, but they are spiritual dimensions to who I am.

We should always be little children in our expectations, our innocence, and our understanding of God’s love. We must also embrace the process of maturing in Him, which is the testimony of overcoming. This was the exhortation of John to the church of his day.  I write to you men because you have overcome the wicked one. You are strong, the word of God abides in you, you have overcome the wicked one. To overcome the wicked one we must be strong in God, strong in His presence, and strong in His word. I know many people who can quote Scripture, but they are not very strong in His word. Many have used Scripture to hate people. I have even used Scripture to hate people at times. I didn’t purposely use it to hate them. I thought I was standing on His word, but Jesus is the living Word. Everything that He is and everything in the word is about relationship. It is about love. To be strong in the word is to be strong in the substance and the testimony of who God is. If you offend me does it cause me to become offended? You are probably not trying to offend me on purpose. Let’s say you are a close friend of mine and I have expectations of you and expectations of your friendship with me. Then one day you are not the kind of friend I thought I needed you to be. You were not there when I needed you. You said something that seemed to agree with what an enemy of mine said. Where is the real problem? Is it in you not being there for me or saying something that agrees with what my enemy says? Or is it in me in taking an offense when you offended me? You see the kingdoms of the world say do not offend me, but the kingdom of God is different. Just look at the kingdoms of the world. That is why politics is so vicious today. People in the world have an expectation that everything will go good in the world toward them. Those in the world think about themselves. I need everything in my world to be good for me to be who I really am. If you offend me I allow it to become an offense of unforgiveness in my life. If I am strong in the word, your offense cannot cause me to be unforgiving. It is important that you understand I am not talking about written Scripture. I am talking about being the substance of our family. I am talking about being strong in the word ­– being a word of forgiveness. Being the character of forgiveness as a human being with the nature and way of forgiveness will overcome the wicked ones known as offense or unforgiveness. Being a person who manifests the power and authority of forgiveness is the overcoming testimony of Christ. This is what overcoming unforgiveness looks like. To overcome unforgiveness I must be the character of forgiveness. To overcome the offense of hate, I must be strong in the spirit and character of love. The nature the way of love must be the substance of who I am. The power and authority of love must be the substance of my being. To overcome rejection, I must be strong in the character nature way of acceptance, and embracing. I must become the substance of the family of God to be the testimony of Christ’s character. Do you know what causes this to happen? Grace! Grace transforms us to become the character, nature, way, power and authority of being a victorious young man or woman in Christ.

To understand grace, we must first understand the need for grace. We must understand the purpose of grace. We must understand the testimony of grace. If I am someone who says, my sins are forgiven! I have a Father who loves me! This alone is not an understanding of grace. It is simply an understanding of mercy. It is really good, but it is not the testimony of overcoming. God loves me and He forgives me! This is a foundation for grace to be revealed in my life. God wants us to become people of grace but we must first be people who understand mercy. Mercy ends law. What does law look like?  If you treat me wrong law demands justice. This is true according to the knowledge of good and evil. All the kingdoms of the world all the nations, all the religions, all the families of the world live based upon that justice system. It is a vicious cycle because someone is always wrong.

There is no way out of this system and remain alive. Your punishment is death unless a judgment of mercy gives you a way out. Mercy will give you a new beginning. It will give you an entrance into a kingdom of grace. I cannot expect the kingdoms of the world to understand the justice system of the kingdom of God, but God is calling the people of God to manifest the justice system of the kingdom of God. He is calling us to grow up in the knowledge of His kingdom. God invites us to experience mercy and to find grace. He wants us to grow up and become a testimony of those who are merciful and gracious. Good parents are people who understand mercy and grace. They are merciful and gracious. Parents who are merciful and gracious make great dads and moms. We must grow in our understanding of God’s mercy and grace to be good spiritual parents in the community of Christ.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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Enter as Children – Live to be Fathers

Greetings,

Today I am in Wichita, Kansas. I was blessed to participate with the Christmas play put on by the children and youth of Christ Life Ministries. It was a great time. It is wonderful to see the community of Christ be a community of life, love, and everyday connection.

Family is a wonderful thing. When I come home after a time out in travel I always look to spend time with my grandchildren. They are part of my family and I love them. We always do something fun so that each of my grandchildren know that they are loved by me. They are grandchildren of mine and they have a grandfather who loves them! This is the sound of love in our family. I want my grandchildren to know that they are free and loved. They are special and I want them to know that they are each a one and only one who is loved by me. This is the way it is with God and us. Knowing we are loved by God is the entrance to living in a culture of grace.

In the kingdoms of the world we live by the standards of the knowledge of good and evil, but everyone has a personal perspective as to what is good and what is evil. We are bound by our own perceptions even when we are given a book that is inspired by God that tells us exactly what is good and what is evil. We can read that book and we can come to different conclusions as to what that book says. Ten of us could read the same story and come up with different conclusions based upon the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil as to what that story reveals. There would be a measure of truth in each of our perceptions, but none of us may have the fullness of God’s life-giving truth. The beliefs of our hearts and the perceptions in our minds affect our ability to understand what we read or to hear what is truly being said. I have discovered that when someone says something to me, I hear what I hear. I have also discovered that when I say something to someone else, they hear what they hear. We just had an election in America and everyone heard what they heard. It was such a loud experience it even affected Europe and the world beyond. The perceptions of each person and each nation is controlled and restrained by the perceptions of their own hearts and minds. Information alone is not enough to transform the hearts and minds of men in a heavenly way. In the kingdoms of the world everything is based upon information. ‘Inform me’ is the petition of the world. It is really difficult to live a free life in a kingdom of information alone. Even the revolutionary connection of the social media is information and it lacks the power of God’s life-giving kingdom. When we are informed, informed, and informed again it is easy to embrace a ‘shame on you’, ‘shame on me’ perspective. I am right, you are wrong. You are wrong, I am right. Yes, there is a wrong and there is a right, but you can be right and dead in your heart. You can be wrong and dead and being dead is worse than being wrong. Being right is no better than being wrong if you are dead in your heart and your mind. This is the way of the kingdoms that are bound to the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil. It is a family tree that guarantees a testimony of death, even when we think we are smart. The foundation for the family of God is not information. The foundation for the family of God is life. He made me come alive! It begins with this testimony. When we lose our old lives, we actually find them new in Christ. When we lay our old lives down, we are finally able to pick up the life that God intended us to have.

1 John 2:12a, 13b  I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. …I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father.

I have a father who loves me. I am a child of God. I am a child of God. I have a Father who loves me. That is where we begin. John set the foundation of a culture of grace by addressing little children. He set the purpose of grace by addressing the fathers. Unless we have a revelation of His love for us we cannot grow to become someone who shows His love to others. Children are loved, while fathers give love.

1 John 2:13a, 14a  I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning… I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.

Do you see how simple that is? To the fathers he said less than he did to the children. I believe a true father is not someone who is battling to know something, but someone who has finally figured out that the only thing that counts is Him. Our goal as a family of God should be to know Him intimately. To know Him in such a deep and strong relationship that nothing shakes us – nothing turns us away from being fathers. If you are a father and mother, when you had children did your world change? When you had children, your world changed completely! It was never again the same. Date night changed. Sleeping patterns changed. For those of you who don’t have children you don’t know this yet. Becoming a parent is like magic, but also like a curse if you are stuck on living for yourself. For the self-seeking part of our hearts it leaves us saying, ‘What happened to my life?’ ‘Where did my life go?’ When you discover the miracle of being a parent you discover that your new live is wonderful! To be a father means your purpose is for someone else. To be a parent, a father or a mother, is a wonderful thing. This should not just be true in the natural, but also a truth of the spirit. John was addressing a dynamic in our family that is one of being fathers and mothers. Parents realize that their whole world has changed. No longer are they thinking about themselves first. They are thinking about the next generation all the time. They are thinking about their children and eventually their children’s children. This is the way it is in the family of God.

God wants us to come to the place of destiny. He wants us to understand that we are not just children who know He loves us, but we live for the purpose of the kingdom of God. We live with the purpose of the good news. In the centuries of the church, the good news got twisted so the message changed. ‘Do this, do that, do this, and if you do this you will go to heaven when you die. If you do this, you will go to hell when you die.’ The message became one of what you do for a good or bad result, but the message of the kingdom of God is not about what to do. It is about who we are. It is about who He is. It is about who we are with Him as the family of God in the earth. It is about being a blessing and then knowing that God is blessing us to be that blessing. It is about multiplying; a giving of greater value to others. It is about seeing things change in the world. When we understand the message of the kingdom we have an expectation that it will be better for our children and our children’s children. We have an expectation of the world being blessed because of the increasing influence of God’s kingdom life and authority.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #graceculture, #newcovenant, #peopleofGod | 1 Comment

The Entrance To Grace

Greetings,

I hope you are all well. I have been home for Thanksgiving, family birthdays, and lots of gopa /opa time with grand kids. Life is good! It was great to be in my home church yesterday. Our children interviewed Bonnie and I on experiences in our lives as parents. It was fun.

The book of 1 John is written by the apostle John to the church when he was an older man. There is some controversy as to how old he was, but he was an older man. He was somewhere between 60 and 80 years old when he wrote this letter to his church community – his church family. He was letting them know that the true evidence of Christ in them was the love of Christ through them to one another. There was something supernatural that had happened in their hearts. It wasn’t just a discipline of learning to love one another. John was writing this letter to say that it becomes obvious when Christ works in the heart of believers. It was a testimony of God’s mercy and grace!

I have often thought that it would be great to be the apostle John. He was called the beloved, the one that Jesus loved. He died a natural death. The other apostles were executed in some manner, but John died of natural causes. Sometimes we may think that John had it easier, but that is not true. John was boiled in oil, yet he did not die! When I was a young man in my 20’s I fell asleep on a raft on a lake in the hot sun. I found out that sleeping on a lake on a raft was not good for a person with the light complexion like mine. I ended up with some nerve damage on my arms from the sun burn I received that day. I still itch to this day from exposure to the sun during the summer months. I am now 61 and it is just now getting better. Can you imagine the old man John who was boiled in oil? He likely suffered the consequences of his suffering. We probably would have noticed him when he walked into the room. Being boiled in oil had to have left its tattoo. He no doubt bore the marks of his suffering. It would be clear that he had gone through some things, but his number one message was love. He wasn’t distracted by the things he had gone through. He was attracted to his knowledge of the love of Christ. This was his message to the church and the foundation for addressing them as children, young men, and fathers.

1 John 2: 12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

When I think of cultures in the world I naturally know they consist of children, young adults, and older people. We tend to think that we were at one stage of development, we progress to the next stage of development, and one day we arrive at the fullness of maturity. That is the way it is in human cultures. I want to propose that in the culture of the kingdom of heaven it is different. There is a beginning of little children, but I am also going to propose that being a little child is something we must always be in our hearts. I have been a believer for over 43 years. There is a progression in my maturity, but each stage of  progression is also a constant reality in my heart in various measures. At one point, I was a little child and then I got busy growing up. I battled against some things to become a strong man of God. I got to a stage of being a father, but now I have been a father for some time and I am discovering some mysteries of the kingdom of God. Overcoming is not a strength of the flesh. It is a testimony of God in our lives. The only way we can experience that testimony of overcoming, the only way we can experience it and not become hard or fleshly strong, is to stay childlike in our hearts.

The testimony of being children in our hearts is verified in the word of John to little children when he said, I write to you little children because your sins are forgiven. I write to you little children because you have known the Father.

When Jesus comes into our lives the first thing we should know is that our sins are forgiven and we have a Father who loves us. That is the exit from the old kingdom and the entrance to the new. It is a testimony of mercy and it is the only judgment that frees me from the stronghold of the law. My sins are forgiven and I have a Father who loves me! Jesus said that unless each of us lose our life we cannot find it. We must lay it down, so we can pick it up. We lose our lives to save them. We must leave our old life and enter our new life, but then we must learn to live in the testimony of our new life. Many Christians leave their old life, enter their new life, and then they live by the rules of the old life. What were the rules of the old life? The old life was a life administrated by a knowledge of good and a knowledge of evil. The re-occuring theme of the old life is one that recites, I am bad I am trying to be good. It was always about knowing the rules. How do I act? What do I do? People in the world don’t know God, thus they look for the most practical and passionate ways of doing what they want to do. They seek to justify their own way of living. That kind of living ends up being less than life. There is a Scripture that says that everyone sins, falls short of the mark, and fails to live in the glory of God. They fall short of the glory of God. The wage, or consequence, of sin is death. The result of sin is death. The fruit of sin is death. God does not kill sinners. Sin kills sinners. The judge of sin is sin. When we disconnect from our life source we die. The life source does not kill us for being disconnected, we die because we are disconnected. The first thing that God wants us to know and to experience, the constant and increasing thing that God wants us to know and to experience, is a place of connection to Him. I have a Father who loves me and my sins are forgiven.

As I travel the nations and I look at what God is doing in the congregations of His church and I listen to the sound of what the Holy Spirit is saying in the lives of people, I hear a consistent theme. I observe it as I go to different congregations. I hear it as I tune into different ministries via the internet. I hear it in the songs of worship music in the various parts of the world. The fresh, newest sound I hear is one that says, Your sins are forgive, you have a Father who loves you! I hear words that express that this is a time for us to understand the grace of God. You can go on the internet and search out Christian books and find many books on the topic of grace. It is a common word in the move of God’s Spirit. God wants us to know about grace, but the sound that I hear is, You have a Father who loves you and your sins are forgiven. We are no longer slaves to fear, we are children of God. This is all true. He split the sea so I could walk right through it!  This is the entrance to grace, but all of that is the sound of mercy!  It is the sound of the exit from the old kingdom and the entrance into the new. I love it. It should and will increase. I am coming into my 44th year of knowing Christ and I should know that I am a child of God. There is no more shame! There is no more condemnation! It is wonderful, but it is the sound of mercy that leads us to the power of God’s grace. I will continue next week to address the partnership of mercy and grace in the culture of a community of Christ. Perhaps we are just knocking on the door to understand the testimony of God’s life-transforming grace in our lives. Grace always begins with receiving mercy!

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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Honor What is Given

Greetings;

Today I am in Bulgaria. I have had a fantastic weekend with people who are hungry and willing to embrace all that God wants to give. It is great to see what God is doing in His family around the world. The Holy Spirit is truly at work in empowering the family of God to embrace the transformations that come by God’s presence. I look forward to seeing what God is going to do to further reveal His people in the earth. God’s grace is sufficient to transform us into all that He has in mind in order to be seen as the people of God in the earth.

I have been writing on a culture of honor in the family of God. Our honor is first to God, for He is the One who brings salvation and the liberty of life in every day and in every way. Secondly, as the likeness and the image of God our Father, we have a need to worship Him. We don’t worship Him to get His blessing. We worship Him to be like Him. When we worship Him it changes our world. Thirdly, we are a family of purpose in this world. We bear God’s family name and we must never take His name in vain. We honor His character, nature, way, power, and authority in all that we are and do. He is a holy God and we are His holy people. Fourthly, we are a place where God rests in this world. Every aspect and every season of our lives begins with God’s presence in and with us. It is with a foundation of His presence that we face every new measure of destiny in our lives. Fifthly, we must honor our family inheritance. We must become an expression of true community with a generational manifestation of the destiny of our family name. Each generations increases in the glory of who God is. Sixthly, we must show honor in our relationships with one another. Covenant relationships are not about getting; they are about giving life to another because we value who another is. Each of us are a one and only individual that expresses God’s life in this world. When we understand the value of one, we give our lives to give life to another for the sake of something greater in this world. Seventh, a value for life is a part of a culture of honor and we honor the expression of life that each and every one is. For this reason, God gave His only begotten Son to die as the price of value for each and every child of God! We are not just one in seven billion. Each of us are a one and only one. This is your value and this is the value of your neighbor. It can only be understood in a culture of honor that knows that each and every one has been born to reveal something of the likeness and image of their heavenly Father in this world. Eighth, we must show honor for the possessions of another. Those in a culture of honor must give honor to what was given to each one. There is no room for jealousy for God has given a measure to each of us for the glory of His name. A ninth value in a culture of honor is in our protection of the reputation of one another. We must never lie or even speak our perceived understanding of the truth in a way that damages the reputation of another human being. The tenth aspect in a culture of honor is one of honoring your neighbor’s measure of rule. We must honor the authority given to another.

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

This is different than just possessions. Seeking to take what belongs to someone else so it will be yours is steeling. That is dishonoring the possessions of someone else and honoring each one’s possessions is part of a culture of honor. This honor in Exodus 20, verse 17 has to do with boundaries, authority, and influence. In a culture of honor, we must recognize boundaries. We cannot be jealous of what belongs within the boundaries of someone else’s sphere of authority. God wants each of us to know who we are. Honor is giving real value to who someone else is and then recognizing that with our attitudes and actions. In a culture of honor, we must also honor ourselves for who we are and others for who they are. Each of us makes a great self, and a terrible someone else. We are best at doing what we want to do in our hearts and not so good at simply doing what we are told. We must discover the desires in our hearts that come from God. It is important to discover the God-given desires in our hearts that enable us to walk in the boundaries, authority, and influence of who we are meant to be.

When we discover the desire to do what we should be doing in life, we will be good at it. This is God’s plan for our lives. We are each given a different measure of rule in life. We must each recognize our responsibilities in our lives. Bonnie and I have been married for over 39 years. As her husband I should desire to love her with all of my heart, all my soul, and all my life. There are times where I am tempted to not love her in some way. If I embrace that temptation in any way, I am being irresponsible in my God-given boundary, authority, and influence as her husband. There can never be a moment in my life where I question whether I should be her husband or not. I am Bonnie Hanson’s husband. I have to choose to position myself before God in a way that He can give me desires in my heart that make me the husband that Bonnie needs me to be. This is true for every area of responsibility in my life. I am Jonathan, Aaron, and Joanna Hanson’s dad. I am grandpa to Aubrey, London, Kaden, and Zaria Hanson. I am a son of God. I am a man of God. I own a pickup truck. I own a house. When my house or my truck are in need of repair I am responsible to repair them. I am responsible to be all that I am in life. I have been chosen by God to travel to the nations. I have to do extensive travel. While traveling I most often fly in coach class. I do not fly in first or business class often, but I see people there. I even get an upgrade every now and then because of the number of miles I fly each year. When I enter an airplane I sometimes walk through the business class section, but I have to rejoice in my seat or I will sit for ten hours on a flight in misery because of my attitude. I cannot be jealous of the person in business class. If I don’t accept my place of sitting I first of all dishonor me and secondly I dishonor the little old lady that I am sitting next to on that flight. What makes me better than her?

Boundaries, spheres of influence, and what has been given to you in life are a God’s given responsibility of honor. We must each be responsible in the boundaries of our lives. If we despise who we are and we want to be someone else, the first person we dishonor is ourselves. If we are jealous of someone else’s wife, we first dishonor ourselves and secondly our wife. If we desire someone else’s life, we dishonor ourselves and we dishonor them.

We must never be jealous of another person’s life. There is a price to pay for living in every neighborhood. What God expects of me is not the same as what He expects of you. What He expects of you is not the same as what He expects of someone else. He expects each of us to appreciate the boundaries that have been given to us in life. We must each be responsible with what has been given to us. We must each appreciate the boundaries that have been given to us. It is not just the things we own, but the influence of your life. This includes our family, our home, our business, our ministry, or whatever we have been given responsibility for in life. A person of great wealth has to be responsible with the wealth that has been given to them. Each of us must pay the price required to live in the boundaries given to us by God.

What has been given to you is not what has been given to another. You don’t want to covet what has been given to another, because you are not able to be responsible with what is theirs. It is a violation of the boundary, authority, and influence of your life to desire the life of another. This is despising what has been given to yourself.

We must each be faithful with what has been given to us. In the world we are taught that bigger is better than smaller, faster is more important than slow, rich is better than poor, and so forth. In the realities of the cultures of heaven, bigger is not better than smaller unless you are supposed to be bigger. Sometimes those who are smaller can reach those who are bigger cannot.

When God says to not covet what your neighbor, He is simply saying don’t dishonor yourself. Don’t dishonor what has been given to you. It is not real to desire what has been given to someone else. You cannot handle their measure of responsibility, big or small. You can only handle what has been given to you and what has been given to you is meant to be a boundary, an authority, and an influence of life in this world. It is about responsibility before God and men. In a culture of honor, we must each tend to our own measure. No one has the same measure of influence, but the measure of influence given to each is for the sake of the big picture of humanity and the testimony and purposes of God in life.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

 

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Reputations and Community

Greetings,

Today I am in Spain after a great weekend in Utrecht, Netherlands. We did healing activation and ministry over the weekend and saw Holy Spirit touch many people with the love of God and His supernatural touch. Thank you God for your kindness and your great love! We your people love you!

Last week I began to address the value of honoring the reputation of others. We must never lie about another person, but we must also be careful how we tell our version of the truth or our perception of the truth. The reputation of a person is the reputation of the likes and image of God in human form.

We must always seek to cover the sins of another, but sometimes the sins of another can damage the reputation of the whole community or a portion of that community. If someone sins to the degree that they are harming the body and it is destroying the reputation of the body, we are to appeal to them in the hope of their turning towards life. At times we must set boundaries to protect the members of our household and we also seek to restore members when they are caught up in some destructive force. When a family member is in sin we seek to cover, restore, and renew them into the community of life. In honoring the reputation of fallen family member we make our appeal, if they don’t hear it we treat them like a sinner and a tax collector. We might eat with them, but we don’t live in their deception with them. We don’t eat with them to become like them. We don’t entertain their criticisms so we too become critical. We are open to them becoming part of us, but we don’t become part of them. This is how we treat sinners.

We must honor the reputations of others. We are never to bear false witness; even if it is based upon something true. If there is a true witness towards some destructive behavior on their part, we make a clear boundary of protection for the community of God. We set a boundary, but the boundary always has a way back to restoration and healing. The boundary can be a closed and locked door, but there is a way to obtain the key that unlocks the door to restoration. Our objective is always to steer things towards the direction of life.

I have had people that damaged reputations. They damaged the church bad. People would call me about them. I would be honest and say, “I don’t know where that person is at in their life at this time, because I am not presently in relationship with them. Many years ago I was in a conflict with them so I would suggest you be wise in your connection. People can change. If this person hasn’t changed you might want to be cautious in your connections.” I am not trying to damage that person’s reputation in doing that. I am trying to protect someone I know from falling into the same trap I found myself in. All decisions in life must move toward protecting life and giving life. Do I need to say anything? Are they going to be ok? If I am a responsible leader and another leader wants to know something about someone who took a 100 people out of my church I may give a caution. What will produce life? What will protect life? The issue is protecting life. In a community of Christ we always seek to honor reputations.

In a culture of honor there are various levels of relationship. My wife knows that no one person can be your best friend. She says that when ladies come to her and want to be her best friend she tells them that she has many best friends. In the area of old movies this is my best friend. When I go shopping this is my best friend. When it comes to understanding things in this area, this lady is my best friend. She says that best friends come in pieces. Relationships with each and every person is different. If you have only one friend you limit the depth of relationships. When there is a problem you always go to a person out of relationship, not from a place of law. Relationships are about life; they are not about rule.

When there is a problem in a community you go to a relationship, not to a law. This is part of a culture of honor. Even if we end up losing the connection in relationship that we once had with someone, we don’t seek to damage them overtly. We are to treat them like sinners and tax collectors. We understand they are takes and not givers in their hearts. We must remain givers in our own hearts. We don’t seek to damage sinners in the community for being sinners. When someone breaks relationship for the sake of sin we treat them like sinners. We don’t condemn them, nor do we condone them. We don’t put the same righteous expectations upon them that we did in the past, nor do we expect them to act like us. We don’t share covenant with them. We might have a dinner with them and invite them to have a relationship with God, but we don’t look to be confrontational. We don’t look to listen to their way of life and seek to emulate it ourselves. We don’t entertain their criticisms so we can also become critical. We are always open for them to be part of us, but if they don’t allow us to be a part of their lives in a covenant way, we treat them as people who are simply not part of our community of intimacy. I have had people who damaged the church bad and I had to mark them, but in a culture of honor I must always be open for reconnection, redemption, healing, and restoration unto life.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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